US says eight Al Shabaab killed by strike in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The U.S. military says it has carried out a collective self-defense air strike against Al Shabaab in south of Somali capital Mogadishu.
The strike on Tuesday killed at least 8 Al Shabaab militants in Dara Salaam area near Awdhegle town, some 60km south of Mogadishu.
In a statement by US Africom says the airstrike was conducted in support of Somali-led ground forces that came under attack from militants.
U.S. service members were present during the ground operation in an advisory capacity.
The statement reads that all U.S. service members are accounted for and are unharmed.
The U.S. military says it will continue to effectively target the terrorist network in order to deny al-Shabaab the ability to build capacity and attack the people of Somalia.
Meanwhile, Somali-based group Al Shabaab claimed to have foiled an attack launched by US and Somali especial forces, saying its fighters had killed an American soldier during the operation.
US military involvement in Somalia has grown since President Donald Trump approved expanded operations against al-Shabab early in his term.
The US military carried out 27 drone attacks this year in Somalia.
Since the expanded operations, two US military personnel have been killed in Somalia.
A soldier died in May 2017 during an operation about 64km west of the capital, Mogadishu.
In June, another US soldier was killed and four others were wounded in an “enemy attack” as Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire in Jubaland.
The US currently has about 500 military personnel in the Horn of Africa nation.
Al-Shabab was pushed out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in recent years but continues to control rural areas in the south and central regions.
The al-Qaeda-linked group has been carrying our bomb and gun attacks for more than a decade.